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Clinicians care for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on Aug. 10, 2021 in Louisiana. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Pregnant people who are infected with COVID-19 face a greater risk of experiencing a stillbirth compared with uninfected people, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released on Friday show.

Driving the news: The data found that of the 8,154 stillbirths documented between March 2020 and September 2021, 1.26% of deliveries among people with COVID-19 resulted in stillbirth, compared to 0.65% of deliveries among uninfected individuals.

  • "These findings underscore the importance of COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination before or during pregnancy," the CDC wrote.
  • Among patients with COVID-19, stillbirths were more common in people with chronic high blood pressure and other complications, such as individuals in intensive care or on breathing machines, AP reports.

Of note: The risk for stillbirths increased this summer as the Delta variant became the predominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S.

  • Between July and September 2021, 2.7% of deliveries among people with COVID-19 resulted in a stillbirth, compared to 0.63% of deliveries without COVID-19, per the CDC.

The big picture: The CDC data explores more than 1.2 million births in 736 hospitals across the country from March 2020 to September 2021.

  • The analysis did not include information on the vaccination status of the pregnant individuals, but approximately 30% of pregnant people were vaccinated in the U.S. as of July 2021.

The bottom line: "This analysis adds to growing evidence of an association between COVID-19 in pregnancy and stillbirth, highlights that the risk for stillbirth associated with COVID-19 is affected by maternal morbidity, and demonstrates that the risk has increased during the Delta period," per the report.

Go deeper: CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Go deeper

Updated 14 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

50 mins ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."